Around the world in a lot of days!
Travelling back through history
So I...
…in the cold and dark
…Why suffer?
Letters from... around the world
It’s not a trip but a need!
The day Vitus Bering beat John Wayne
The hunt
The ecstasy of a consumer and the Eskimo Syndrome
The suitcase
Tell me, what time does the sun set?
8 x 5
Why the sponsor?

…Why suffer?

I refuse to be a “sleeping-bag tourist”, as I don’t feel that the world must necessarily be seen “in discomfort”. The “glorification of suffering” is very widespread. Indeed, recounting how much one endured to get to city X to go see archaeological site Y makes the story all the more enchanting. I have heard plenty of stories of “bag snatchings”, dysentery, sunstroke and colds caused by air conditioning running “full blast”. In the end, the main point was not the beauty of the place that was visited or the people one encountered, but how hard it was to find aspirin or get a passport replaced. Few bear in mind that there are also thieves in Zurich and that a headache doesn’t make a visit to the ruins at Machu Picchu any more exhilarating. And to think that science has worked wonders!

As far as I’m concerned, after touring for a whole day, getting back to a comfortable hotel room, taking a shower and then heading down to the bar for a gin and tonic before dinner are part of a delightful ritual that I have always followed and highly recommend. This has not always been possible, however, and sometimes I have had to carry sweat and dust around for days on end, or settle for some strange fizzy beverage in a hotel lobby that, in the best of cases, had more flies than patrons. I am not embarrassed to confess that I prefer the ecstasy of comfort to the martyrdom of suffering. Moreover, I am convinced that it is not absolutely necessary to be Indiana Jones or know how to drive a lorry across the Gobi Desert.